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1:35 PM ET, February 13, 2009


 Top Items: 
Byron York /
Why Gregg Bailed  —  When he took the job, Republicans searched for a diplomatic way to ask: Are you crazy?  —  After 16 years as a Republican senator from New Hampshire, Judd Gregg has a lot of friends among GOP lawmakers, and in the past two weeks, many of them — perhaps most of them …
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: THIS JUDD'S (NOT) FOR YOU  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro  —  *** This Judd's (not) for you: Just when you thought the news was getting a bit stale — after the deal on the stimulus — came the latest twist and turn on the Obama White House's four-week-old rollercoaster ride.
William Kristol / PostPartisan:
Why Gregg Withdrew  —  In his statement backing out of the Commerce secretary position, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said that he had “found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the census, there are irresolvable conflicts for me.”  Gregg explained that, “Prior to accepting this post …
Senate Democrats optimistic about 2010, targeting nine states
Discussion: TPMDC
Tobin Harshaw / The Opinionator:
Judd Gregg's Goodbye
Discussion: Power Line and Washington Post
Greg Miller / Chicago Tribune:
Predator drones flown from base in Pakistan, U.S. lawmaker says  —  Sen. Feinstein's surprise disclosure likely to complicate joint campaign against Taliban militants  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. - A senior U.S. lawmaker said Thursday that unmanned CIA Predator aircraft operating in Pakistan are flown …
Greg Miller / Los Angeles Times:
Feinstein comment on U.S. drones likely to embarrass Pakistan  —  The Predator planes that launch missile strikes against militants are based in Pakistan, the senator says.  That suggests a much deeper relationship with the U.S. than Islamabad would like to admit.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Feinstein blows our Pakistani cover
Discussion: Danger Room and Weasel Zippers
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Ever-Bolder GOP  —  It seems that Republicans are feeling pretty good about themselves these days: … This reminds me of what Eve Fairbanks wrote back on February 9 when she observed that they are “completely obsessed with winning the media “cycle” and getting the sexiest …
Discussion: TalkLeft
Kevin G. Hall / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Will the stimulus actually stimulate?  Economists say no  —  WASHINGTON — The compromise economic stimulus plan agreed to by negotiators from the House of Representatives and the Senate is short on incentives to get consumers spending again and long on social goals that won't stimulate economic activity …
The Politico:
Hardened Obama plans new fights  —  Emboldened by his victory on the stimulus package — but chastened by the pothole-pocked road that got him there —President Barack Obama and his aides are plunging ahead on a large and expensive agenda that virtually assures 2009 will be marked …
Rasmussen Reports:
Specter Vote For Stimulus Hurts Him Back Home  —  Senator Arlen Specter is one of only three Republicans to support the economic stimulus bill in Congress, and the latest Rasmussen Reports survey in Pennsylvania shows that his position is costing him support back home.
Kyle / Right Wing Watch:
The Religious Right's New Demand: Stop Calling Us the Religious Right  —  It seems that leaders of the Religious Right are tired of being associated with the Religious Right because nobody likes the Religious Right.  Unfortunately for them, they are the Religious Right and that is what we …
Discussion: culturekitchen and
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
The Audacity of Audaciousness  —  It takes a certain amount of nerve to have an event at the National Press Club and then ban the press from covering it.  —  It takes another level of chutzpah entirely to admit members of the general public to your event at the National Press Club …
The Stimulus Plan: A Detailed List of Spending  —  Congress released its compromise of the economic stimulus plan at 11 p.m. Thursday.  Debate began in the House at 9 a.m., with voting set for 1 p.m. Want to know what's in it?  You could read the 1,071-page gorilla they've posted.
Discussion: TalkLeft
The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Are Dems Secretly Gutting Welfare Reform?
Discussion: Reason and Spin Cycle
John B. Judis / The New Republic:
End The Honeymoon  —  Why the left is to blame for the lackluster stimulus and bank bailout.  —  There are many good things to say about the stimulus bill.  But all in all, it wasn't as good as it could be: It's probably too small and too skewed toward tax cuts, and particularly cuts …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama and liberals: a counter-productive relationship
Discussion: TalkLeft
Dems target right-wing talk radio  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — More and More Democrats in Congress are calling for action that Republicans warn could muzzle right-wing talk radio.  —  Representative Maurice Hinchey, a Democrat from New York is the latest to say he wants to bring back the …
Buffalo News:
49 KILLED AS PLANE CRASHES INTO HOME IN CLARENCE CENTER  —  Forty-nine people died when a Continental Connection airplane crashed into a house in Clarence Center shortly after 10:15 p.m. Thursday, setting off a huge fire that could be seen miles away.  —  The dead included 44 passengers, four crew members and a person on the ground.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Failure to Rise  —  By any normal political standards, this week's Congressional agreement on an economic stimulus package was a great victory for President Obama.  He got more or less what he asked for: almost $800 billion to rescue the economy, with most of the money allocated to spending rather than tax cuts.
Now they tell us: Iran is pursuing a bomb  —  Most political blog readers will remember the storm of controversy that erupted in early December 2007, when a new American “National Intelligence Assessment” claimed that Iran had stopped development of a nuclear weapon in 2003.
Timothy J. Burger / Bloomberg:
California's Napolitano Makes $220,000 From 1998 Campaign Loan  —  Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) — During a decade in Congress, California Representative Grace Napolitano has pocketed more than $200,000 of political contributions by charging as much as 18 percent interest on money she loaned to her own campaign.
Discussion: The Swamp and Swampland
New York Times:
Judges Plead Guilty in Payoffs for Jailing Youths  —  At worst, Hillary Transue thought she might get a stern lecture when she appeared before a judge for building a spoof MySpace page mocking the assistant principal at her high school in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. She was a stellar student who had never …
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
Bush Aide: Leahy Truth Commission Is ‘Terribly Dangerous’ Idea, Possibly ‘Deadly’  —  Last night on The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly showed a clip of a Fox News producer ambushing Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to accuse him of political hypocrisy for urging an investigation into Bush crimes after he had opposed the Clinton impeachment.
Discussion: Big Brass Blog
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 More Items: 
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Beverly Eckert: Crash victim, 9/11 widow
Discussion: THE WEEK - Online
CBC News:
Tasers potentially lethal, RCMP head tells MPs
Todd J. Zywicki / Wall Street Journal:
Don't Let Judges Tear Up Mortgage Contracts
Discussion: The Volokh Conspiracy
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Firm tied to Murtha closes PAC
Discussion: Hot Air and The Politico
Tucker Reals / CBS News:
Senate Vote On Stimulus Expected
Discussion: TPMDC
Washington Post:
Nationalize the Banks! We're all Swedes Now
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
David M. Herszenhorn / The Caucus:
Final Draft on Stimulus Bill, Complete With Last-Minute Edits
 Earlier Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Worst-Case Scenario
Ralph Atkins / Financial Times:
Eurozone contracts at record rate
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
High-Speed Rail in the Stimulus
Discussion: New York Times
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Presented by Starbucks …
Discussion: Think Progress
Marc Santora / New York Times:
Suicide Attack on Iraq Pilgrimage Kills 30
Brian / Six Meat Buffet:
The Revolutionary War Was Started Over Less
Discussion: Post Politics and protein wisdom